Trailer mechanic keen to add new skills to her toolbox

Emily Ogram likes to get her hands dirty. She does not mind physical labor and is eager to acquire new skills. For the past two months, she has been learning how to repair trailers.

“It feels like I am doing something useful. I don’t like just sitting around doing computer work, I get bored,” Ogram told Today’s Trucking in an interview.

The soft-spoken 20-year-old who grew up in Platsville, Ont., started working as a painter straight out of high school in 2020, when the pandemic broke out.

Emily Ogram working on a tire
Emily Ogram works on a tire at The Erb Group’s facility in Baden, Ont. (Photo: The Erb Group)

After a couple of years, Ogram realized there was nothing more to learn about painting and sought a new opportunity.

She applied for a job at The Erb Group at its Baden, Ont., facility and was hired as a trailer technician.

Every week, from Monday to Wednesday, she shadows a trainer as he services trailers.

“We have to be quick about it, so they can be on their way,” Ogram said.

On Thursdays and Fridays, she works in the trailer shop with the rest of the crew. Here the jobs that require more time are taken care of. She is excited about electrical and welding work.

“My favorite job is welding. I wanted to learn it even before I came to work at Erb.”

Emily Ogram, trailer technician apprentice

“My favorite job is welding. I wanted to learn it even before I came to work at Erb. I am excited for the opportunity.”

Her eagerness to learn and enthusiasm for the job did not go unnoticed. The Erb Group recently signed Ogram up as a 310J Trailer Technician Apprentice and is sponsoring her education with a training agreement.

She aims to use the skills she gains through work at home too. “If you learn to work on brakes, you know how to do brakes on your car so you don’t have to pay somebody to do it.”

Ogram feels if more women enter the trucking industry, especially in the trades, the situation would be more normalized.

In a few years, she hopes to teach others and keep educating herself. She is also looking forward to mentoring others, especially women, with the skills she has acquired.

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